Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gramma Janet

DSC_3386 Lots of family was in town this last weekend (more about that later).  One person who was in town was Gramma Janet.  Of all the grandparents, Audrey probably knows Gramma Janet best, and only because she was here more recently.

So Audrey was very excited to see Gramma Janet this last weekend.  Gramma went home on Tuesday.  And when she called to tell me she got home safely, Audrey wanted desperately to talk.  But I didn't realize it until after I'd hung up the phone.  

So Audrey took it upon herself to pick up my cell phone and play with it.  She got to it before the screen locked up and she managed to redial my mom.  She was so excited to see Gramma Janet's picture on the screen.  She put the phone up to her ear and had a short conversation with Gramma.  I have no idea what they talked about, but Audrey listened intently.  Then they said good-bye and Audrey was thrilled to have talked to Gramma Janet before her shower.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mommy and Me Monday - Up on the Mountain

We went up to Mount Diablo for a bit on Sunday afternoon and played on some climbing rocks. We found short rocks that Audrey could easily climb. Josh snagged the camera from me and made sure to get a few photos of me with my baby girl. (The other one was enjoying the ride in the Jeep stroller.)

Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?

I have vowed, that no matter how bad I think I look in a photo, if my girl is cute or it shows our true relationship, I will post the photo.  That takes a hit to the vanity, that's for sure.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

You Version Bible App

I am a poor reader. I am slow, have really low comprehension, stumble over my words, am easily distracted, etc.

DSC_2809I want to be a reader, though.  So I go through periods of time where I pick up a book or two and try to read.  Given the right circumstances (the right book, the right family activity level, etc), I might read 2 or 3 books in a row.  But more often than not my laziness prevails and I just go back to my TV watching or my hobbies on my computer.  I desperately want Audrey and Annie to be readers, so I encourage reading whenever possible.  I'm  a horrible example, though, as I don't sit down and read very often.

One book I'm determined to read over and over and over again, however, is the bible.  Actually, I've never read it all the way through (9 more chapters and I will say that I have).  I am a huge proponent of daily bible reading and time with God.  Again, something I want to pass on to my children, and again, I'm not a great example.

Many things get in the way of my daily bible reading.  But primarily it's that I just can't sit down and focus; especially in the deep books with lots of big words and boring content.  I've tried reading at different times of the day; different versions (NIV, NKJV, NASB, Living, etc); reading outloud; shortening my time.  I just can't find something that really helps me stay committed.

I think I've found a solution.  I sit down and read during my forced breaks in a secluded room at work (these are also known as pumping breaks).  This is good for me.  Quiet.  Alone. But I still can't focus.

Enter the YouVersion bible app.  In and of itself it's pretty cool. Several translations available, you can highlight, make notes, add bookmarks, etc.  And it's GREAT in church when I'm wearing a baby and can't hold and thumb through a bible in my lap.  But it has even one more feature that has solidified my use of it.  Audio bible.  In multiple versions.  So I sit down, open up my paper bible and then hit play on the audio bible in the YouVersion App.  I follow along as the reader reads.  I can pause and make notes (on paper, in my journal, in my bible, or in the app itself).  I can rewind.  I can re-read myself.  It reads at a steady pace, so I'm not reading faster than I can comprehend.  It doesn't stumble over the words.  

I've been doing this for about 2 weeks now and I'm really enjoying it.  I am finding myself not dreading over how much I have to read, but rather just sitting back and taking it in.

If you have a smart phone or other handheld mobile device, check it out.  It's awesome.  Well worth it.  Oh ... and it's FREE.  Its available for iphone, android, blackberry, palm, and windows.  And your account is available both mobile and on the computer, so you can go back and re-read your notes if you want.  You can email a passage.  Or tweet it.  Or FB it.  It's an awesome way to share what you're reading with a friend ... perhaps a mentor or accountability partner.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why I'm Thankful for Daycare

I've spent a great deal of time over the last 2 years complaining that I can't be a stay-at-home-mom and that I'm missing so much time with my girls.  I dislike my job and really enjoy being at home.  But many things have come to be that give me cause to be thankful for daycare.  And since James cause us to count everything joy and Paul tells us to give thanks in all things, I thought that I would post some things daycare has done for us that I'm not sure would've happened otherwise.

1. Annie is doing really well with eating purees.  I forget to give them to her and was lazy in the beginning with them.  Daycare is pretty regimented about that sort of thing, so she's figured them out and is doing well.  Although I'm thinking we'll skip purees at home and just move on to stick foods and other finger foods. (do a Google search on "Baby-led Weaning" to understand where I'm coming from.....)

2. Audrey is learning how to play with others and share.  She is still a little selfish at home and insists that all the toys are hers, but she is better understanding the concept.

3. Audrey gets a lot of play time and attention with the other kids that I'm not sure she'd get at home.  At least not as much.

4. When Audrey insists on walking (as opposed to being in the shopping cart or stroller), she holds on to the frame when we walk.  This is a daycare thing; they walk to the park as a group and all hold on the stroller (or hands) so no one runs off or gets lost.

5. relief from the heat.  While daycare lady doesn't have a/c either, she lives near the bay as opposed to inland and it's significantly cooler than at home.  So Audrey and Annie have relief from the intense heat we've been experiencing.  (And I have a/c at work, which is a welcome relief as well)

6. Audrey gets naptime every day and is doing good with it at home as well.

7. Audrey gave up her binky by age 2.  Being around a bunch of older kids who don't use them helped her realize she didn't need one either and helped me just not give it to her knowing she'd do OK without.

8. Audrey eats better when around other kids.  At home we struggle to get her to eat a meal.  She just wants to snack and snack and not sit down and eat a full meal, despite being hungry.  When she's around all the other kids, she eats it all.  So I know that she's getting the nutrition that she needs and is getting a full belly.

9. Related to eating full meals, I know she's eating healthy.  Since daycare food is monitored by the state, she is required to serve rounded diets.  And I've seen first hand the fruit and veggies they eat.  Consequently, now Audrey likes oranges and apples.  Two things that I struggle with eating and keeping in the house.

10. Friends.  Audrey is making friends.  And we all need good friends.  Annie also has a friend her age; daycare lady's granddaughter is one month younger than Annie and comes to visit every couple weeks. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

At the Car Wash......

It was super hot again this past weekend. Desperate for an activity to keep us busy and yet not make us melt, I decided we should wash the cars. Annie was conked out in her high chair following an intense hour of playing with her food bowl, so it was the perfect time to go outside and do something as a family.

We put on grubbies or swimsuits, whatever was most comfortable, pulled the cars into the grass, and went to town. Audrey was desperate to help, so she grabbed a sponge-mitt thing and went to town.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Yard Work ... ugh........

Hello three-day weekend.  The first weekend in awhile with no real plans.  My Diaper Party  got canceled and Josh only had his drum lessons.  We had the teenagers so we were looking forward to a great relaxing weekend at home.

6:30 Saturday morning Josh wakes up and hits "go" on the coffee.  He went outside to feed the dog. Where's the dog?  Umm ... she's not in her kennel.  She's not on the side yard.  She's not in the corner.  Sheila?  Hello!?!?!  He heard her.  Oh ... there she is.  UNDER THE DECK!!!  Keep in mind last summer the deck was redone and constructed in such a way that she wouldn't be able to dig under the deck again,


She used to crawl under the deck regularly, but was able to get herself out pretty easily because of the nature of the deck.  But this new deck was built lower, had better cement anchors, and was put together with construction adhesive and nails and was not coming apart easily.

We were not happy.  We figured she'd come out when she was hungry and let her be.  A couple hours had passed and she didn't come out.  She was truly stuck.  We dug out a little bit and managed to get her near the hole, but she still wasn't able to get out.  THREE hours later, lots of mud, deeper holes and some serious frustration, she was removed from the deck.

We found ourselves needing to fix things so she wouldn't do this again, because we can't spend 3 hours every other day getting her out.  We made our way to Home Depot and picked up some paving stones, 12"x12", so make an edge around the deck.  We hoped this would deter digging just enough.

And as long as we were dirty and at Home Depot, might as well have our annual yard work day.  This is our 4th summer in this house.  Each summer we've taken on one or more massive yard work project(s) in an attempt to make the yard prettier.  It's not working too well.  One summer we added pretty bark to the back corner that didn't grow anything.  The next summer we took the bark out and planted grass seed (the weeds were growing and it was impossible to keep clean).  One summer we took out the previous year's annuals from the front planter box and replaced the bark.  Last summer we removed a bunch of dumb bushes that just killed the grass.  This summer our project was to get rid of the weeds in the front planter box, replace the bark (again) and plant something.  We decided to do it right and lay down the fabric weed block stuff.  

Rip out the weeds (and let the neighbor lady play with the toddler)

Trim back the rose bush 

Lay down the weed-block and figure out placement for the new plants

Lay down the new bark

Let the toddler pick up what spills

yes, she's wearing knitted mittens

Whack the weeds that are growing in the sidewalk (and mow the grass)

And then stand back and bask in the satisfaction of a job well done.

The stones are vacation souvenirs from Pike's Peak (the big one on the left) and Crazy Horse Memorial